The Security Council on 27 November extended the mandate of the United Nations Observer Mission in Liberia (UNOMIL) for another four months, until 31 March 1997. It also called on the factions to cease hostilities and implement their commitments, especially the 17 August 1996 Abuja II Agreement, reached under the auspices of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
That Agreement, concluded in Abuja, Nigeria, established an implementation timetable, provided a mechanism for verifying compliance, and proposed possible measures against the factions in the event of non-compliance.
The Council decided to maintain UNOMIL deployments at an appropriate level as recommended by the Secretary-General, who was requested to advise the Council of any planned further deployments.
Under resolution 1083 (1996), adopted unanimously, factions were also urged to complete on time the disarmament process, which began on 22 November, and is considered to be one of the key steps leading up to the . elections planned for May 1997. (As of mid-January, approximately 7,000 fighters had been disarmed and demobilized, out of an estimated total of 60,000 fighters.)
The Council stressed the need to support work and training projects to help ensure the social and economic rehabilitation of demobilized combatants. On the heels of a damning report on the effects of war on children, it also condemned the recruitment, training and deployment of children for combat, and demanded that "the warring parties immediately cease this inhumane and abhorrent activity and release all child soldiers for demobilization".
According to the Secretary-General's 19 November progress report on UNOMIL (S/1996/962), there had been some encouraging developments in the country's situation, despite a 31 October attempt on the life of Charles Taylor, a member of the Council of State and leader of the National Patriotic Front. However, with the ECOWAS Monitoring Group (ECOMOG) having acted quickly to stabilize matters, the cease-fire continued to hold in Monrovia, as well as in most parts of the country.
The leaders of the two wings of the United Liberation Movement of Liberia for Democracy had agreed in October to cease hostilities and create a buffer zone between their forces in the west. ECOMOG and UNOMIL, which increased patrols in the area, had observed that while the situation remained fragile, the two factions had nonetheless begun to implement the...